Under fire over files related to the controversial allotment of coal blocks going missing, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal Friday said seven files, 173 applications and nine other documents sought by the CBI were not traceable and efforts were on to locate them.

The investigation agency, which is probing the alleged irregularities in the lucrative allotments, has asked for details of 43 files, 176 applications and 17 other documents.

Jaiswal told the Rajya Sabha that of the 43 files, 21 have already been handed over to the CBI while the CBI has been asked to collect another 15. He said a inter-ministerial committee headed by an additional secretary and consisting of officials from the coal, steel and power ministries and Coal India Ltd, among others, had been set up to locate these files.

“The mandate given to the committee is to examine and review the non-availability of any file or document and suggest appropriate action for locating the same. The committee has held three meetings so far and requested the members to locate the document,” Jaiswal said.

The coal minister reasoned that “it would be wrong to classify any file or document as missing at this stage when an inter-ministerial committee is actively engaged in locating these papers”. He also added that only a handful of files are yet to be located and “if we are unable to locate some papers, government will ensure that due investigations are carried out and guilty brought to book”.

Jaiswal said that as the investigation progresses, “if additional documents are called for by the CBI and, if any document is not readily available, it shall make every effort to trace and supply them to CBI”. He said that of the 176 applications sought by the CBI, three have already been made available and a search is on for the rest.

Courtesy: The Indian Express